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EU proposes new body to manage cross-border labour flows

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - The European Commission proposed Tuesday the establishment of a European Labour Authority to support the estimated 17 million Europeans living or working in another member state and ensure the respect of social and employment rights.

Ever more Europeans are moving to other EU countries, but they often face a tangle of national legislation on issues ranging from social security contributions and benefits to differing wage standards.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed creating a European Labour Authority during his State of the Union address in September.

"It seems absurd to have a banking authority to police banking standards, but no common labour authority," Juncker said at the time.

The new office would informing cross-border workers and employers about their rights and obligations, coordinate between social security systems, mediate in disputes between national authorities and liaise on issues such as workplace inspections.

It should be up and running in 2019 and will employ around 150 staff, with an estimated annual budget of around 50 million euros (61.8 million dollars), according to the commission proposal.

The European Labour Authority could also help national authorities fight fraud and abuse of existing systems, for example by companies that recruit workers from member states with lower average wages to keep costs down.

The proposal now requires the approval of EU lawmakers and member states.

The EU‘s executive also wants to ensure that all workers can access social security, especially those without traditional contracts and the self-employed, who jointly make up almost 40 per cent of Europe‘s workforce, EU Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said.


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